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Asset Manager of the Year 2014: Aberdeen
09 July 2014
Aberdeen Asset Management won the coveted prize in the Global Investor/ISF Investment Excellence Awards 2014
Aberdeen Asset Management, winner of the 2013 European equities
manager award, has furthered its success to be voted by this
year’s Global Investor/ ISF judging panel
as the top asset manager.
The firm hit the headlines last year when it acquired Scottish
Widows Investment Partnership (Swip) for £550m ($935.8m),
resulting in Aberdeen overtaking Schroders to become the
largest listed independent asset management company in Europe.
The acquisition, which completed at the end of March, combines
the two firms’ strengths across fixed income, real
estate, active and quantitative equities, investment solutions
and alternatives. Aberdeen has now taken over management duties
of £2.9bn of Swip’s active equity funds,
which mostly invest in Europe, expanding
Aberdeen’s existing £104.4bn
actively-managed equities business.
Aberdeen also acquired Artio Global Investors in May last year,
adding global high yield and US total-return offerings,
complementing its established fixed income expertise. Speaking
at the FundForum conference in June, Aberdeen’s
chief executive Martin Gilbert said the firm received greater
than forecast savings from the Swip acquisition. As a result it
expects to raise its dividend this year as well as seeing
potential to buy back shares.
Over the past year Aberdeen says it has continued to focus on
delivering long-term returns for clients. Its multi-asset
strategy outperformed its benchmark by 3.75% over five years as
of December 31 2013. Aberdeen has made significant steps to
enhance its business model in order to strengthen client
services and believes that its commitment to innovation has
been more in evidence this year than ever before.
Its achievements included re-structuring and bolstering
Aberdeen Solutions, which caters to pension schemes and other
institutional investors, giving clients seamless access to
hedge fund, private equity, multi-manager property, multiasset
and long-only multi-manager teams.
The firm expanded the size of its Solutions investment team by
15% since last year, with the aim of ensuring that it is
flexible, quick to respond and can build a portfolio specific
to client needs in a matter of weeks. Aberdeen also made
changes to its European fixed income investment team in order
to strengthen its service to pension fund clients.
It relocated the team, comprising a group of five, to sit
within distribution, with the aim of proving pension scheme
clients with specialist expertise in a clear, simple and
coordinated way. Aberdeen says it aims to cater to pension
schemes of all sizes, types and levels of sophistication,
delivering off-the-shelf products through to complex,
tailor-made or outcome-oriented solutions.
Another accomplishment was the implementation of new strategies
and launch of 11 new funds, including Aberdeen’s
Global World Government Bond fund, Global Frontier Market Bond
fund, European Secondaries Real Estate fund, UK ICVC Strategic
Bond Fund, France – Dedicated FCP MNRA Haut Rendement
(US High Yield), in addition to six US Open Ended Funds.
The firm believes that one of its strengths lies in the
research and seminars it provides for the benefit of clients.
In 2013 Aberdeen continued the success of its Pensions
Intelligence programme of seminars, which were held in France,
Switzerland, the Netherlands and the UK.